Friday, August 26, 2016

Kamp Tumaini: Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Prayer

Kamp Tumaini 2016

This year's short term mission volunteers in Kenya

Yesterday afternoon, we said good-bye to the second team in this year's Kamp Tumaini program. Over the past three weeks, the two teams from Canada have run camps with over five hundred children and caregivers in six different locations throughout Kenya. Together with our partner churches, they have provided care and support to families and orphans that are overcoming the challenges of HIV and AIDS.

2016 Kamp Leaders
Peter, Aaron, Erica, Catherine, and Sarah

This was the first time that we have hosted two short term mission teams simultaneously. We could not have done this without the great team leaders that journeyed with each of the teams. Catherine, Peter, and Sarah have done a great job. Peter and Sarah's team came from Brunswick Street Baptist Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Catherine's team was a multigenerational team from several different churches in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

 Kathleen with one of the campers in Nakuru

Camping ministry is an effective way of building relationships of understanding and compassion. We are so thankful for the Canadian counsellors who poured their lives into the GOH kids throughout this year's camps. Encountering God's love in one another is what camp is all about!

Matt chilling out with one of his campers

Little Alfred sporting some shades!

Rebecca and one of her campers

Scotty having some fun with her campers

Rebecca, Cindy, Daniel and Scotty leading worship in Siaka

Camping ministry is also about creating a safe and fun environment for young people to encounter a transforming relationship with God. During each day of camp, the counsellors led times of worship and sharing times as they reflected on what it means to be "joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" -- our theme verse for Kamp Tumaini.

Worship in Nukuru

James and Erica speaking to the youth in Siaka

Rebecca and Joanne playing with their small group in Siaka

Most of all, camp is fun. It is a time for children, youth and even the adults to play, to laugh and to celebrate the joy of life. No matter where we travelled this year, from crowded urban slums to dusty country roads, the camps adapted to their new surroundings. Everyone participated in great times of recreation and fun.

Dan leading a game of football

Matt and his team playing blanket volleyball

Catherine awarding "Canuck" to the winning team

The Simba group, Siaka

Cindy and Sandra with their small group in Siaka

Jennifer, Daniel, Scotty, and guest speaker Roseanne with their group in Siaka

Kathleen, Joel and Joanne with their small group in Nakuru

 Tristan, Emma and Ava with the team in Maai Mahiu

The Guardians of Hope is a church-based initiative to provide care and support to families and individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The local church is the backbone of this ministry.

As the second team primarily worked with the African Christian Church and Schools, on both of their Sundays they attended local churches in the communities where they were serving. Our family joined the group in Maai Mahiu this past Sunday where team member Alyssa preached. It was wonderful to experience worship where every single person participated as each group within the church took the platform as they lead worship in prayer, song and dance.

As the 2016 camps come to an end, we are thankful for this opportunity for the Canadian and Kenyan churches to demonstrate and share the love of God in such a meaningful way. We pray for the fruit of Kamp Tumaini to be born in the lives of each of the Guardians of Hope children as they grow up in loving homes and communities of faith. 

Thank you for your interest and support in Kamp Tumaini and the ministries of CBM in Africa. We are already preparing for Kamp Tumaini 2017 and 2018 as youth from Spring Forth in Eastern Canada and youth from Serve in Western Canada will come to lead the camps.

If you would like to learn more about how you or your church can be involved please visit the Canadian Baptist Ministries website or click Here

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Remembering Mary Clark

Mary Jane (Evoy) Clark
September 3, 1947 - August 13, 2016 

Erica and her mom, Mary

Mary at a tiny Baptist Church in the Dadaab Refugee Camp
Over the past ten years, we had the joy of Mary coming to Kenya and staying with us for the Canadian winter on three different occasions. Each time, it was wonderful to have Mary join us in our ministry. She braved long desert roads, crossed miles of rugged landscape and entered into the lives of people in refugee camps and urban slums.

With her nursing background, Mary contributed to community outreach projects and often found great pleasure helping with a local children's home. Mary often talked about her angels. Her home was filled with little angel statues and pictures reminding her of God's provision and care. We still have a little guardian angel in our car that she gave us early in our marriage -- a reminder that she kept us in her prayers as we travelled throughout the maritimes. 

Angels meant a lot to Mary, but in many ways God used her as an angel in the life of others as she shared the love and compassion of Christ.

 Mary visiting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage, Nairobi

In her visits to Africa, Mary enjoyed her encounters with nature. From walking in the verdant tea hills of Limuru, to wading in the Indian Ocean and driving the great plains, she found great delight in the birds and wildlife. But where ever we went, Mary always seemed to attract the unwanted attention of the monkeys. On many occasions we'd hear her let out a hoot as a cheeky little monkey would snatch her breakfast or interrupt her coffee break. 

Soon the monkey would dash away and Mary would treat us all to her laughter.

Sopa Lodge, Naivasha

Early this past Sunday morning, we drove to the town of Thika to join the African Christian Church and Schools for worship with heavy hearts. After a prolonged battle with health issues, Mary died of an infection in the Corner Brook hospital, Newfoundland. 

As we entered the town, we were startled to see a little angel walking toward us. A boy of perhaps ten years of age, met us. His bright eyes greeting us, as the wings of a giant eagle kite stretched out from behind him. 

Mary would have been delighted. 

Kamp Tumaini: 2016 Team Two

K A M P    T U M A I N I
Counsellors Wes, Patrick, and Canuck at Kamp Tumaini ACC&S Kimangaru

Kamp Tumaini Team Two
Joel, Daniel, Matthew, Sandra, Jennifer, Alysa, Kathleen, Rebecca, Cindy, Katherine (Scotty), Laura, 
Joanne, Catherine and Wesley

Last Thursday evening, August 11, the second Kamp Tumaini short term missions team arrived in Kenya for this year's camps. We travelled together into the cool tea hills of Limuru for two days of orientation and preparation for the camps. 

 Jennifer, Scotty and Alysa warming up by the hearth

August is winter for Kenya and in the high elevations of Limuru it can dip below ten degrees celsius. This may sound pretty mild for Canadians, but with no central heating or insulation in the homes it is pretty chilly. Everyone appreciated the hot water bottles and extra blankets provided by our friends at Brackenhurst.

Along with preparing for the camps, the team had time to get over jet lag and enjoy nature walks where they encountered monkeys and wonderful bird life.

The team participated in worship at the African Christian Church & Schools (ACC&S) in Thika on their first Sunday. They shared music, greetings, scripture reading and the message.

 Team leader Catherine Cole and Reverend Beth preaching 

 The Canadian team meeting for prayer with the ACC&S Church leaders

 Kamp Tumaini 2016: ACC&S Kimangaru, Embu
Phyllis and Cindy sharing a devotion with Guardians of Hope caregivers

On Monday, the team launched this year's third Kamp Tumaini with seventy children and caregivers from the ACC&S Guardians of Hope project in Embu. 

At the ACC&S camps, our colleagues Laura Muema and Phyllis Wambui are leading times of sharing and training with caregivers in each of the projects. Members of the Canadian team are also joining them for prayer and devotional times.

Meanwhile, the Canadian counsellors are leading the children through worship, speaking, small group times of sharing and prayer, crafts and loads of fun and games.

 Wes and Scotty having some fun with their pod (small group)

Catherine and Erica 

 Rebecca hanging out with her goofy campers!

Dan leading soccer drills with the campers 

Let the games begin!

Along with all the fun, Kamp Tumaini is really about building relationships of encouragement and care with the Guardians of Hope children. We are so thankful for the great group of Canadian volunteers who have made the step of faith to travel to Kenya and to give so generously of themselves. Each day we are seeing the impact of their love and concern as God's spirit works in each of our lives.

 Wes and Scotty playing games with their pod

Dan and Joanne leading circle time with their pod 

 Joel, Sandra and Rebecca with their Twiga pod

Jennifer and Matt having some fun with their campers 

Alysa and Kathleen 

Please join us in praying for the camps and for the Canadian volunteers as they travel throughout Kenya. The last three camps will be taking place over the next week and a half in the communities of Kaiani, Saika and Nakuru. We also pray for the local church and volunteers who are hosting the camps, and for the hundreds of children who are anticipating Kamp Tumaini.